Ativan And Tinnitus
Posted: March 7, 2006, 12:56 AM


Posts: 61
Joined: February 7, 2006



I started Ativan back in 98. I would take ridicoulous amounts because I was so desperate to sleep. Around 2001, I cut way down to about 2 mg. Not long after I developed a severe deblitating case of Tinnitus(ringing or noise in the ears). I have been all over the U.S. trying to free myself from this horrific condition with no success). I am currently down to 1 mg of Ativan per night. All this time I never considered Ativan as the cause of my tinnitus. Tinnitus Doctors actually prescribe Benzos for tinnitus patients. I am now wondering if all this time (5 years) I have been experiencing a protracted withdrawl symptom as the Ashton manuel points out. I am considering stopping the 1 mg of Ativan. Does the brain heal itself after that many(8) years of Benzo use? I understand that the brain's natural ability to produce GABA ( which is what quiets the brain)is been clipped by the Ativan. Am I doomed? Do the "protracted" withdrawl symtoms go away?
Dan
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Posted: March 7, 2006, 6:04 AM


Posts: 156
Joined: November 25, 2005



To understand the efficacy of the benzodiazepine drugs as tranquillisers and sleeping pills it is necessary to know how these drugs work on the brain. And to understand benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal, it is necessary to understand the body's compensatory reaction to that action.

Throughout the brain and spinal cord there are GABA receptors, which both inhibit neural activity and, indirectly, alter the production of neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine. The benzodiazepines act on these receptors to increase their inhibitory activity and reduce the flow of some of these neurotransmitters and so induce, among other things, calm, sleep, lack of emotion, and relaxed muscles; and they begin to act in minutes.

After about two weeks of the continuous presence of these chemicals, the brain begins to compensate for this increased inhibition by reducing the intrinsic inhibitory action of the GABA receptors, and increasing the production of some neurotransmitters, thereby producing the state of neuroadaption known as tolerance; and this state of tolerance takes, at least, one year and often two or three, in the absence of the drug, to reverse back to normality.

So what does tolerance mean for everyday behaviour and experience? It means that the only way the person involved can limit their excitability and alertness - their readiness for "flight or fight", the fundamental survival mechanism, is by taking the drug. Between doses, as the level of the chemical in the brain decreases, they have only their weakened GABA receptors to modify their experience, and at the same time, an increased flow of noradrenaline etc. This is an intolerable state to be in, and the only solution is to take more of the drug, because the person's natural ability to modify neural activity has been weakened and there is nothing else which will do that job. That is the basis of the chemical addiction to a benzodiazepine.

Under these circumstances the benzodiazepine addicts know they cannot manage without the drug, and they are right. They are as right as diabetics who know they cannot manage without insulin. However, benzodiazepine addicts do not know why. They usually assume, with the support of most professionals involved, that this is a weakness of character, if not full-blown mental illness. This is the nature of psychological dependence.

At the same time it seems that there is no compensatory reaction in the areas mediating emotion, memory or sensory experience; they remain anaesthetised as long the drug is present, and for some time after it is stopped. It is also necessary to understand that after the drug is stopped the initial detoxification period takes between six to eight weeks compared to five to ten days for heroin or alcohol, and neurophysiological recovery takes years.

Recovery is interspersed with periods of intense withdrawal symptoms. This is not fully understood but is probably connected with the fat-soluble nature of the drug, its long-term storage in the body's fat cells and its cyclical release into the blood stream over many years.

Victims of Tranquillisers Newsletter (1995) Issue 1, VOT, Dr R F Peart, 9 Vale Lodge, Vale Road, Bournemouth BH1

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Get That Giant "Ativan" out of My Life 3.0mg was my highest per day. 13 weeks on ativan and 4 years of heavy drinking. alcohol free 16 months , tapering 1/8th every week. Currently at 0.00mg Ativan (as of July 23, 2005) 13 months Ativan free
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Posted: March 7, 2006, 6:05 AM


Posts: 156
Joined: November 25, 2005



PROTRACTED BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
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A number of people are expressing fears that some benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms last for ever, and that they can never completely recover. Particular concerns have been raised about impairment of cognitive functions (such as memory and reasoning) and other lingering problems such as muscle pains and gastrointestinal disturbances.



People with such worries can be reassured. All the evidence shows that a steady decline in symptoms almost invariably continues after withdrawal, though it can take a long time - even several years in some cases. Most people experience a definite improvement over time so that symptoms gradually decrease to levels nowhere near as intense as in the early days of withdrawal, and eventually almost entirely disappear. All the studies show steady, if slow, improvement in cognitive ability and physical symptoms. Although most studies have not extended beyond a year after withdrawal, the results suggest that improvement continues beyond this time. There is absolutely no evidence that benzodiazepines cause permanent damage to the brain, nervous system or body.


People bothered by long-term symptoms can do a lot to help themselves. For example:

(1) Exercise your body. Physical exercise improves the circulation and function of both brain and body. Find an exercise that you enjoy: start at low level, work up gradually and keep it up regularly. Exercise also helps depression, decrease fatigue and increases general fitness.

(2) Exercise your brain. Use your brain to devise methods to improve its efficacy: make lists, do crossword puzzles, find out what bothers you most - there is always a way round it. Cognitive retraining helps people to find ways around their temporary impairment.

(3) Increase your interests. Finding an outside interest which you have to work at employs the brain, increases motivation, diverts attention away from your own symptoms and may even help others.

(4) Calm your emotions. Above all, stop worrying. Worry, fear and anxiety increase all withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are actually due to anxiety and not signs of brain or nervous system damage. People who fear withdrawal have much more intense symptoms than those who just take it as it comes and think positively and confidently about recovery.
(copied from Ashton's Manual)




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Get That Giant "Ativan" out of My Life 3.0mg was my highest per day. 13 weeks on ativan and 4 years of heavy drinking. alcohol free 16 months , tapering 1/8th every week. Currently at 0.00mg Ativan (as of July 23, 2005) 13 months Ativan free
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Posted: March 7, 2006, 6:07 AM


Posts: 156
Joined: November 25, 2005



I'm a 100% positive your tinnitus is from ativan withdrawal. This is very common in benzo withdrawal. It will heal in time but it might take a little while.

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Get That Giant "Ativan" out of My Life 3.0mg was my highest per day. 13 weeks on ativan and 4 years of heavy drinking. alcohol free 16 months , tapering 1/8th every week. Currently at 0.00mg Ativan (as of July 23, 2005) 13 months Ativan free
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Posted: March 7, 2006, 3:29 PM


Posts: 61
Joined: February 7, 2006



The strange thing is that the only withdrawl symptom I have ever experienced would be tinnitus. When I dropped from 6 to 2 mg back in 2001 I never felt sick or had any of the hellish experiences i have read about here. 6 months ago I dropped from 2 to 1 mg. Again, no sickness. The tinnitus had been singing away for 5 years. It fluctuates some. I usually get 2 out of 7 good days where its not very loud. I just wonder if my continueing to take the drug at a much lower dose has prolonged this particular withdrawl symptom(tinnitus)?
Dan
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Posted: March 8, 2006, 12:00 AM


Posts: 156
Joined: November 25, 2005



I truely believe your tinnitus will only disapear when your Ativan (benzo) free. Actually it might get worst before it will get better if you become benzo free.

Even though we are all different alot of people I talk to said it disapeared after a year after they were benzo free.

What ever you do never stop Ativan cold turkey!!

Can be real dangerous.



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Get That Giant "Ativan" out of My Life 3.0mg was my highest per day. 13 weeks on ativan and 4 years of heavy drinking. alcohol free 16 months , tapering 1/8th every week. Currently at 0.00mg Ativan (as of July 23, 2005) 13 months Ativan free
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Posted: March 8, 2006, 1:17 AM


Posts: 61
Joined: February 7, 2006



The tinnitus I experience sounds like a high pitched nest of rattlesnakes 24/7. Its in the center of my head. Ive been dealing with this for 5 years and it has all but destroyed my life.
Dan
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Posted: March 8, 2006, 2:17 AM


Posts: 156
Joined: November 25, 2005



Whats your plan? Are you trying to become benzo free?

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Get That Giant "Ativan" out of My Life 3.0mg was my highest per day. 13 weeks on ativan and 4 years of heavy drinking. alcohol free 16 months , tapering 1/8th every week. Currently at 0.00mg Ativan (as of July 23, 2005) 13 months Ativan free
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Posted: March 8, 2006, 3:16 PM


Posts: 61
Joined: February 7, 2006



Right now I am currently on Subutex to get off opiates. I just had surgery on my left arm. Cubital tunnel lift. Last June my pain specialist put me on Vicoden which eventually turned into Duragesic patches. The pain had become so great that I was unable to work and with 3 kids to support, thats not an option. So I am now down to about .5 mg of Subutex. As soon as I succesfully jump off the subutex(soon I hope), I an going to start an imediate weening scedule with the Ativan. I am down to 1mg daily with the Ativan. Its kinda strange. The Neurologist who prescribes Ativan for me never expressed any concern about addiction and to be honest, I never was very concerned myself until I read the Ashton manuel and got the notion that my Tinnitus could be a result of my long term Ativan use. The other strange thing is the fact that Benzos, especialy Xanax is a common treatment for tinnitus. The most renowned tinnitus experts in the world recommend xanax and klonipin as a treatment for severe tinnitus .Most people get tinnitus from noise trama but I suspect that mine might have been brought on by the rapid reduction of Ativan that I did back in early 2001. Yet even another strange thing is the fact that I have gone weeks without taking Ativan and never eperienced any physical withdrawls. Never. When I cut it down from 2mg to 1mg 6 months ago I never noticed any side effects or withdrawls. None whatsoever??? If indeed tinnitus is a protracted withdrawl symptom that I am experiencing, its the only one. None of the other symptoms that I read about here have ever visited me. This is why I am a bit confused. Eitherway, I am going to try to get to zero with the Ativan to see if my tinnitus goes down. I can only hope that the natural production of GABA returns to my brain. 8 years is a long time. The Ashton manuel says that after a while, things return to normal. They had better or I will need to take something or maybe worse. To understand how bad my tinnitus is, one needs to go put their TV on an off channel with white noise. Stick their ears up to it and just sit for an hour or 2 and try to relax. In my case, there is no getting away. It goes with you.
Regards
Dan
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Will
Posted: April 8, 2016, 10:39 AM







Hello. I have been doing Xanax and other benzos for about 8 years on and off. I have gone cold turkey more times than I can count. It was complete hell. But this last time I went cold turkey I began to get a ringing in my ear shortly after. I had no idea where or what was causing it. I also had these sensations in my head that I cannot explain into words. Not good sensations. Finally after 2 months of no benzos whatsoever, I took a Xanax and ALL of the syptoms went away! I knew forsure it was the Xanax that caused it. I too would like to know if this will go away, or am I stuck forever. Im very scared. Thank you in advance.
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getting there
Posted: September 23, 2017, 10:25 PM







I've been taking Paxil 10 to 15 mgs per day and Ativan, .5 to 1.5 mgs per day for 20 years. I've had debilitating panic disorder since my early twenties, which escalated severely after my dad died in '96.

Some posters have mentioned the Ashton Manual, which has been really helpful for me (Benzodiazepenes: How they work and how to withdraw by Prof CH Ashton). She includes info for those of us on anti-depressants in addition to benzos.

She does say that tinnitus is a side effect of discontinuing benzos, which may not ever go away, and a higher dose of Avivan seems to help the ringing levels. But I've found that stress does make it worse.

Lipoflavenoid has lovers and haters, but I've found it works if you take two tablets 3x per day and never, ever skip a dose. Sometimes I forget to take it when the ringing has subsided, and within a few days it's back.

I successfully lowered my Paxil dosage with water titration -- no side effects. Life issues has me back on it. I plan to try this again and post a blog on my progress to help others. I'll post again with a link when I've started.
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